Thursday, June 4, 2009

What is a Labyrinth

Classical 7-Circuit Labyrinth

What is a Labyrinth?
The embodiment of Wisdom, Prosperity, Hope, Peace, Personal Power, Strength, Protection, and Growth.
Or simply… The archetype for life.

A labyrinth is sacred symbol, an ancient pattern designed for a variety of reasons. It is a tool to be used toward self-healing. One may walk a labyrinth to quiet the chatter in your head enabling the walker to meditate effectively. One may walk a labyrinth to pray, deal with a difficult decision, or heal. Labyrinths have been used for centuries in rights of passage and to commune with the Gods. There are countless uses for a labyrinth.

A labyrinth is a geometric design that is usually portrayed in it circular form. The size of a labyrinth can range from one small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, commonly known as a finger labyrinth, to over 80 feet in diameter.

Labyrinths… Mazes… They are all the same right?
There are several styles and types of labyrinths out there and it is easy to mistake them for mazes. To add to the confusion many people misuse the word Labyrinth when they mean to say Maze. A simple distinction between the two is this…
Labyrinths are usually a single path structure that have no dead-ends or tricks to confuse the participant. The purpose of a labyrinth is to allow the user to meditate on a goal or issue without concern for what direction he/she should take next. The single path journey is a reflective inner walk with one's self.

Where did Labyrinths come from?
Labyrinths are found all over the world and are estimated to be over 5,000 years old. It is thought that labyrinths originated in Crete. However, evidence shows that they may have originated with the Amazons in the form of a dance. AS this dance evolved and moved from one country to another people began to place the dance in stone. What emerged was the classical Labyrinth.

What are Labyrinths used for?
Labyrinths are used in celebration, meditation, rights of passage, stress relief, fun, resolve inner and external conflicts, personal healing, personal and spiritual growth... The list is long and the possibilities seem endless, you are only limited by your imagination.

Many hospitals are now building labyrinths for patients and doctors to use when they need a few moments of peace and inner contemplation. Family members of the terminally ill as well as the terminally ill are finding clarity and acceptance as they routinely walk a labyrinth.

Professional office buildings are using labyrinths to resolve conflicts and lessen anxiety before entering into intense meetings and discussions.

All over the world people are building labyrinths in their backyards, churches, parks, and community centers so they may walk them when ever necessary.

Each person who walks the path of the labyrinth is touched in a special way. No one is completely sure why or how labyrinths work, but it does. Labyrinths are effective and their use is highly encouraged.

Stress relief, meditation, problem solving, healing…. Where could you use a labyrinth in your life?

Hand-Made Personal Canvas Labyrinth created by Rev. Brandy Boswell

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